ICBC and Saanich Police were in front of the University of Victoria bookstore at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning, handing out safety reflectors to pedestrians coming off buses and cyclists as part of a province-wide pedestrian safety campaign. They urge pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to stay vigilant as the winter days get shorter and visibility gets worse.
ICBC Road Safety Coordinator Colleen Woodger said almost double the number of pedestrians are injured in crashes from October to January as the weather changes and daylight hours dwindle. “Nearly half of all pedestrian-related crashes happen between October and January,” said Woodger. “It’s also the time we see poor visibility, poor weather, darker days, so we need to remind people to take a look at what they’re wearing to work and think about ‘can I be seen?’”
Woodger said intersections are particularly dangerous, where over 65 per cent of all crashes happen. “Be really aware when you’re in intersections, specifically when there are vehicles turning, they may be focusing on the green light and not doing that scan of the crosswalk when they’re hanging a left.”
Woodger said it’s also essential drivers stay focused, put their phones away, and focus solely on driving. “We all need to share the road whether we’re walking or driving, so we need those drivers to stay focused,” Woodger said.
Saanich Police Constable Maksym Vartanov said it’s important for pedestrian and drivers to “play nice” with each other because the consequences could be grievous. “We have to be careful and patient with each other because things can turn ugly very quickly, especially at this time of year,” Vartanov said. “Days are shorter, people are grumpier, and the weather is a little worse.”
More information about ICBC’s province-wide pedestrian safety campaign and tips for sharing the road can be found on ICBC’s website.
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